Proximus has started selling “market research” reports containing anonymous data about its customers’ whereabouts, movements, and countries of origin for a starting price of €700.

The Belgium-based operator said it is making available a “treasure trove” of data about the number of customers in particular locations, mapped “at least every hour” by devices on its network.

It is also offering information about their movements in the vicinity, as well as data revealing the “origin” of SIM cards connecting to its network, from which to ascertain where a “user comes from”.

The new big data product, called MyAnalytics, is aimed at tourist services, event organisers, marketers and those in charge of mobility management, the company said.

The service is available via an online portal, which Proximus claims is the first such portal "with accurate research data that are easily accessible to everyone”.

Dominique Leroy, CEO of Proximus, said the company’s location-based data insights will enable clients to “undertake more targeted promotion, align staff and resources more closely with demand, establish a new business on the best site, and manage traffic flows more effectively”.

The service “bundles” anonymous data into “groups of at least 30 people”.

The reports may be requested for a specific location, period and visitor’s profile, and buyers can filter options in the portal to tailor reports to their ends.

They are available 48 hours upon request, with real time data to be made available in due course, it said.

Reports on individual users are not available.

Proximus suggested the application will help city agencies and events organisers to create highly targeted promotions, hinging on customer profile, location and time.

It cited restaurateurs and retailers as potential customers, as well as those providing civic services such as car parking and traffic management.

Leroy said: “This new, accessible application makes affordable market research available to everyone.”

Last week, Telefónica said it would create a personal data bank for each of its 350 million customers to store, manage and sell their own data.

Last month, ABI Research forecast that mobile operators will devote more than $50 billion to big data and machine learning analytics over the next five years to avoid becoming "irrelevant".

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